Hey everyone, it’s Sarah!
This book has been getting Printz buzz and was nominated as a potential greatest book of the year by my library system. I have been meaning to get around to reading it and I finally have.
Everyone thinks they know the story of Joan of Arc, since she makes appearances across pop culture. However, this novel in verse takes a historical look into the life and times of Joan. Using a variety of poetic forms, Elliott weaves Joan’s thoughts with those of her friends, family, accusers, and witnesses. While this novel does come from a place of religion, it speaks to the contemporary understanding of being yourself and standing up for what is right, in spite of the consequences.
Novels in verse can be difficult because it is more challenging to get to know the characters. Thankfully, Joan is such a well-developed icon in our society that this area could do without the development. I thought that the premise and form were refreshing and unique. However, I did find myself bored. The novel leaned heavily on the dry historical facts (which are important), but I lost the story at times. I can see many Catholic grandparents getting this for their grandkids and I know that the grandkids won’t be disappointed by what they find.